GE|Adults|Advanced|15. Multitasking and mindfulness

Discuss with your teacher if you agree or disagree with the following statements. Explain your opinion


1. Women are better at multitasking than men.

2. It is absolutely necessary for any manager to be able to multitask.

3. Multitasking is a function of electronic gadgets, not a human.

4. Multitasking should be a school subject.

5. It doesn’t matter how many things you can do at a time, the quality is important.

Decide if you can do the following things at the same time. Put + or next to each of them

Match the words with their meanings

pic2_T|Grammar act|L10

Look at some common verbs from the texts. Complete the gaps with the preposition

Read the two texts and choose the best heading for each of them. Write in the gaps only the letter of the heading


Mark the sentences True or False

Read the sentences and say what effect it would have on the meaning if the highlighted phrases were left out. Then read the rules


1. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts, is considered to be the «father» of mindfulness.

2. He claims to help patients cope with stress, pain, and illness.

3. It appears that mindfulness is beneficial in lowering blood pressure and decreasing anxiety.



It seems/appears that when people multitask, they in fact do one thing after another in quick succession.

The new Head of Department seems/appears to be quite friendly.

Excuse me. There seems to be a mistake with the bill.

It would seem/appear that Mr Young had been using the company’s assets to pay off his private debts.

1. We often use seem and appear to give information without stating that we definitely know it is true, in this way distancing ourselves from the information.

We can use It seems/appears + that + clause, or subject + seem/appear + infinitive.

2. We use It would seem/appear + that + clause to distance ourselves even further from the information, making it sound even less sure. This is more formal than It seems/appears…

the passive with verbs of saying and reporting

It is said that using a washing machine saves people on average 47 minutes a day.

It has been announced by a White House spokesman that the President has been taken to hospital.

The company director is expected to resign in the next few days.

The missing couple are understood to have been living in Panama for the last five years.

There are thought to be over a thousand species in danger of extinction.

Another way of distancing ourselves from the facts, especially in formal written English, is to use the passive form of verbs like say, think, etc. to introduce them. We can use:

1. It + passive verb + that + clause.

a) Verbs commonly used in this pattern are: agree, announce, believe, expect, hope, say, suggest, and think.

2. subject + passive verb + to + infinitive

a) Verbs commonly used in this pattern are: believe, expect, report, say, think, and understand.

3. There can also be used + passive verb + to + infinitive.


It is said that there are more than five million people living in poverty in this country.

Fraud is thought to cost software companies millions of dollars a year.

There are said to be more than five million people living in poverty in this country.

other distancing expressions: apparently, according to, may/might

1. We use apparently (usually either at the beginning or the end of a phrase) to mean that we have heard/read something, but that it may not be true. This is very common in informal conversation.

Apparently, Jeff and Katie have separated.

2. We use according to to specify where information has come from. We use it to attribute opinions to somebody else. NOT According to me…

According to new research, the idea that we have to drink two litres of water a day is a myth.

3. Using may/might also suggests that something is a possibility, but not necessarily true.

Dinosaurs may have died out due to extremely rapid climate change.

There are rumours that the band, who broke up ten years ago, might be planning to reform and record a new album.

Complete the second sentence so that you distance yourself from the information

Distancing expressions are often used, particularly in journalism, where a speaker or writer wants to stress that the information is second-hand and comes from a specific source, rather than being their own knowledge or opinion. Expressions like It is often said that … are also often used where the writer is not sure of the sources.

Choose the original meaning of meditation


Meditation originally means

a) spending time in quiet thought for religious purposes or relaxation

b) precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness

Choose the answer and discuss it with your teacher

Match the words with their definitions


Complete the sentences with the suitable words

Close your eyes, listen and imagine doing all the stages. Choose the sentence that gives message of the meditation

The Chocolate Meditation

Again and again people tell us that mindfulness greatly enhances the joys of daily life. In practice, even the smallest of things can suddenly become captivating again. For this reason one of our favourite practices is the chocolate meditation. In this, you ask yourself to bring all your attention to some chocolate as you’re eating it. So if you want to do this right now, choosing some chocolate, not unwrapping it yet. Choosing a type that you’ve never tried before, or one that you’ve not eaten recently. It might be dark and flavoursome, organic, or Fairtrade, or whatever you choose. Perhaps choosing a type you wouldn’t normally eat, or that you consume only rarely.

Before you unwrap the chocolate, look at the whole bar or packet — its colour, its shape, what it feels like in your hand — as if you were seeing it for the very first time.

Now very slowly unwrapping the chocolate, noticing how the wrapping feels as you unfold it, seeing the chocolate itself. What colours do you notice? What shapes? Inhaling the aroma of the chocolate, letting it sweep over you.

And taking or breaking off a piece and looking at it as it rests on your hand, really letting your eyes drink in what it looks like. Examining every nook and cranny. At a certain point, bringing it up to your mouth, noticing how the hand knows where to position it, and popping it in the mouth, noticing what the tongue does to receive it. See if it’s possible to hold it on your tongue and let it melt, noticing any tendency to chew it, seeing if you can sense some of the different flavours, really noticing these.

If you notice your mind wandering while you do this, simply noticing where it went, then gently escorting it back to the present moment. And then when the chocolate has completely melted, swallowing it very slowly and deliberately, letting it trickle down your throat.

What did you notice? If the chocolate tasted better than if you’d just eaten it at a normal pace, what do you make of that? Often we taste the first piece and perhaps the last, but the rest goes down unnoticed. We’re so often on autopilot, we can miss much of our day-to-day lives. Mindfulness is about bringing awareness to the usual routine things in life, things that we normally take for granted. Perhaps you could try this with any routine activity, seeing what you notice? It could change your whole day.

Listen again. Choose what the speaker says about the following things

pic3_Grammar act|El|L20

Choose one topic to discuss

Talk about multitasking. You can use the following questions as a plan.

  • What does multitasking mean? Give some examples.
  • Why do many people want to be able to do several things at a time?
  • In your opinion, can multitasking be trained?
  • Are you good at multitasking? If yes, are you proud of it? If no, do you regret? Why/Why not?

Talk about mindfulness. You can use the following questions as a plan.

  • What does mindfulness mean? Explain with an example.
  • Do you think people tended to be more mindful in the past?
  • Do you think training mindfulness is a good idea? Why/Why not?
  • Which way can it be trained?

Talk about meditation. You can use the following questions as a plan.

  • What does meditation mean?
  • Why, do you think, meditation has become a trend in the modern business world?
  • Have you ever tried to meditate? Why/Why not?
  • Do you think meditation can help you? If yes, in which way?


Choose the suitable word

Complete the sentences with the words in the list

Before you watch, match some words from the video with their definitions

Now watch the video and tick the correct variant

You may have heard this word this word mindfulness, it’s become something of a buzz phrase of late. I’m going to give you one simple serviceable definition, which is: mindfulness is the ability to know what’s happening in your head in any given moment without getting carried away by it.

Imagine how useful this can be. Just as an example: you are driving down the road and someone cuts you off in traffic. How do you normally react? I think most of us normally react by having a thought, which is «I’m pissed». And then, what happens next? You immediately, habitually, reflexively inhabit that thought. You actually become pissed. There is no buffer between the stimulus and your reaction. With just a little bit of mindfulness in that same situation, you might notice: my chest is buzzing, my ears are turning red, I’m having a starburst and self-righteous thoughts, I’m getting angry.

But you don’t necessarily have to act on it and chaise that person down the road screaming at them with your kids in the back of your car thinking you’ve gone nuts. Now, you might be thinking: Don’t I need to get angry sometimes? Aren’t I justified? I would say, yes, but probably not as much as you think. The proposition here is not that you should be rendered by mindfulness into some lifeless, nonjudgmental blob. The proposition is that you should learn how to respond wisely to things that happen to you, rather than just reacting blindly. And that, my friend, is a superpower.

How do you get it? The way you get it is through meditation. I believe that meditation and mindfulness are the next big public health revolution. In the 1940s if you told someone you were going running they would have said: Who is chasing you? But then, what happened next? The scientists swooped in, they showed that physical exercise is really good for you, and now all of us do it, and if we don’t, we feel guilty about it. And that’s where I think we are headed with mindfulness and meditation. It’s going to join the pantheon of no-brainers like brushing your teeth, eating well and taking the meds your doctor prescribed for you. Let me just close by saying: mindfulness is not going to solve all your problems, it’s not going to render your life a nonstop parade of unicorns and rainbows. Nonetheless, this is a superpower, and one that is accessible by you, immediately.

Prepare your three-minute talk about time-management techniques that you use (or just want to use). Cover the following points



  • Are you good at managing your time?
  • Do you use any electronic gadgets that help you organise time?
  • Do you use paper planners?
  • Do you often try to multitask? How successfully?
  • Have you heard of any unusual time-saving techniques? If yes, tell about them.

Allow your browser access to your microphone, press the button «Record» and record the speech you have prepared

Урок Homework Курс
  • Warm-up
  • What does it mean?
  • Train your brain
  • I don't insist
  • Meditation
  • Chocolate vocabulary
  • The chocolate meditation
  • Personalization
  • Find the word
  • Distancing
  • Mindfulness
  • Can you manage your time?